Sun, Dec 14, 2003 - Page 22 News List

Argentina, Brazil set to face off

UNDER 20 FOOTBALL Javier Mascherano saved Argentina from defeat by the US after scoring with a header during injury time

AP , ABU DHABI, UAE

A Colombian supporter celebrates after Colombia defeated the United Arab Emirates 1-0 in the quarter-finals of the FIFA World Youth Championship in Dubai, Friday.

PHOTO: AFP

Argentina came back to beat the US 2-1 in an extra-time thriller Friday and set up a World Youth Championship semifinal with Brazil, which trounced Japan 5-1.

Argentina's Javier Mascherano saved the defending champion from an embarrassing defeat, scoring with a header in the fourth minute of injury time to take the match to extra time, after Bobby Convey had given the lead to the Americans in the 59th minute.

"This was a very intense match. When I go back to Argentina, I will have my heart checked," Argentina coach Hugo Tocalli said.

Captain Fernando Cavenaghi scored the golden goal for Argentina in the 98th minute, slotting home a penalty after Franco Cangele was taken down by Drew Moor in the penalty area.

In the other quarterfinals, 10-man Spain defeated Canada 2-1 on a golden goal by substitute Arizmendi to set up a clash with Colombia, which beat hosts the United Arab Emirates 1-0.

The Brazilians, criticized before Friday's match for not performing as well as expected, taught Japan a lesson in soccer, scoring four times in just over 30 minutes to cruise to the semifinals.

Carvalho and Nilmar each netted two and Kleber scored another as the South Americans dominated.

Sota Hirayama scored an 89th-minute consolation goal.

Until Friday, three-time tournament winner Brazil had failed to impress during the group phase, winning once, drawing another time and losing 3-2 to Australia, while defeating Slovakia 2-1 in the round-of-16 with a golden goal.

Brazil coach Marcos Paqueta said Monday's semifinal against Argentina would be worthy of a final, and expected his team to come out winners.

"This game will be the final because it has the strongest teams in the tournament. If we have the same performance that we had today, we can beat them."

Tocalli said his team has to be cautious against the Brazilians.

"We are going to play our eternal adversary ... it seems unavoidable to meet Brazil in every international tournament. To play with Brazil we do not have to make any mistakes, they can hit you at any time."

The Spaniards, who were reduced to 10 men in the 65th minute when Vitolo received his second yellow card, led in the 35th thanks to a goal from Barcelona's Andres Iniesta. Iain Hume equalized in the 53rd, but Spain's Arizmendi, who came off the bench five minutes before the end of regulation time, scored the winner in the 95th.

Colombia dominated the United Arab Emirates, and midfielder Victor Montano scored in the 14th minute to silence the 13,000 mostly home fans and advance to the semis.

The classy Colombian side controlled the midfield and defense, stifling the UAE's attacking flair and forced its players into making repeated mistakes and giving up the ball too easily.

"Colombia were better performers and more physical than us," said UAE coach Jean-Francois Jodar, from France. "We also had trouble keeping possession."

Jodar criticized the rigorous scheduling of the tournament.

"We have played five matches [in 15 days] and it has caused some physical problems," he said. "The big tournaments have sometimes five to six days to recover between matches. In my opinion, two days is not enough for young teams to recover."

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